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New York City Mayor Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Farley Receive Flu Shot at Duane Reade Pharmacy, Highlight Importance of Flu Preparedness

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley received their seasonal flu vaccination this morning at a Duane Reade pharmacy (NYSE: WAG) at 100 Broadway, New York City, demonstrating the importance of taking proactive steps to prevent the spread of influenza. Duane Reade is part of the Walgreens family of companies.

"We are proud to have Mayor Bloomberg reinforce to all New Yorkers the need for protection and prevention with his flu shot. Through greater access to immunizations across our network of Duane Reade and Walgreens pharmacies throughout New York we are helping more customers get, stay and live well," said Jeff Koziel, Walgreens market vice president.  "For those who have not gotten a flu shot yet, it is prime time for prevention with changes in the weather, the upcoming holiday travel season and many other ways in which germs and viruses spread this time of year."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) again recommends this year that everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot. Vaccination is recommended every season as the best protection against influenza. Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacists in New York can administer flu shots to those age 18 and over.

"Getting the flu is no fun at all, and it can even be deadly," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.  "Every year, too many New Yorkers lose their lives to influenza and the flu vaccine is the single most important protection against getting sick and spreading the flu to others. I urge everyone to go to their doctor, local health clinic or pharmacy and get a flu vaccine as soon as they can."    

Flu shots are covered under Medicare Part B as well as many insurance plans. All Walgreens points of care also offer Fluzone HD, a high-dose influenza vaccine for those over age 65, and all pharmacies offer Fluzone Intradermal, a shot administered with a smaller needle that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle.

New this season, Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies are also offering a free comprehensive immunization assessment1 with every flu shot. The assessment can help patients determine which other immunizations they may need based upon current CDC recommendations.

A recent Walgreens study2 found that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults surveyed were unaware of the latest government-recommended vaccinations for their age and health condition. More than half of those surveyed, 53 percent, also said they are not diligent about regular check-ups with their primary care physician.

New Vaccine for This Flu Season

Each year, seasonal flu vaccine is produced to protect against the three viruses or flu strains that research indicates will be most prevalent. There is a new vaccine for this season, as the 2012-13 vaccine includes H1N1, as well as H3N2 and a B virus which are different from those recommended for the Northern Hemisphere last season.

As community pharmacy and retail clinics have played an integral role in providing more convenient access to flu shots and other immunizations in recent years, Walgreens data from the 2010-2011 flu season shows that nearly one-third (32 percent) of the more than 6.3 million people who received flu shots, as well as those for pneumonia, shingles and meningitis at Walgreens and Take Care Clinics, had them administered during off-hours, including evening, holiday or weekend.

About Duane Reade
Founded in 1960, Duane Reade is the largest drug store chain in New York City. In keeping with the company's brand vision of New York Living Made Easy, Duane Reade provides New Yorkers with prescriptions, health products and services, beauty products and services, food and convenience items for daily life in the City...everything for "How I Feel", "How I Look", and "What I Need Now". The company operates 250+ stores throughout the metropolitan New York region. Duane Reade is part of the Walgreens family of companies, the nation's largest drugstore chain with more than 7,900 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

About Walgreens 
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens ( vision is to become America's first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,944 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

1 The assessment is not for diagnostic or treatment purposes. Information provided by Walgreens does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See pharmacy for details.

2 Walgreens immunizations awareness survey, April 2012

SOURCE Duane Reade
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